Jul 7, 2009

Killing of Pregnant Muslim Woman in German Court

Widespread Anger Among German Muslims and in Egypt and Arab World

Dr. Marwa Sherbini was three-months pregnant when she was murdered in court by her molester. Her murder has sparked off angry protests around the Muslim world.
For eight long minutes, the 28-year old German man of Russian origins continued to stab Marwa Sherbini. For eight long minutes, she suffered the stabs in full view of the panel of judges inside the Dresden courtroom. When the German police finally arrived on the scene, they shot her husband who was desperately trying to save her. The image of middle-easterners as potential terrorists, an image propagated by the media for years now, led them to the wrong conclusion that Elwy Okaz, genetic researcher at Max Planck Institute, must have been the perpetrator of the violence.

Marwa Sherbini’s Four-Year Old Son Watched his Mother Being Butchered

Four-year old Mustapha was witness to the massacre of his mother and the injury of his father. After the incident, he was left in the custody of German Authorities until his aunt arrived to take him home back to Egypt, suffering from severe shock. He will need rehabilitation to be able to cope with the trauma he experienced. In all probability, the tragedy will leave a permanent psychological scar on his whole life.

Marwa’s Body Arrived in Egypt

Marwa Sherbini probably never imagined that this was how she would return home after her years with her husband in Germany. Hosts of grieving mourners stood at 8pm on 5th July, 2009, as the body of the Egyptian pharmacist arrived at Cairo Airport. The dominant feeling was one of deep anger. Her funeral in her native city of Alexandria the following afternoon was marked by masses of people who probably never knew her. Among the mourners were young students from her old school, the EGC, who came to pay their last respects to her.

Media Silence Regarding the Murder of the Muslim Woman in the Courtroom

The official stand of the German authorities has been one of muted regret. European media in general, and German media in particular, gave the brutal attack no prominence at all, regarding it as an isolated incident and presenting the attacker as a man who is mentally disturbed. The question that immediately comes to mind is where Marwa Sherbini went wrong. She sought justice and had no doubt in her mind that she would get it. The cruel irony was that she was murdered in the very place that should have protected her and afforded her the highest degree of safety and justice. She trusted the propaganda that Europe was a place of freedom and equality for all, regardless of gender, race or religious persuasion. She did not realize that in Europe some human beings are more equal than others. She had paid for her misconception with her very life.

Jul 6, 2009

Racism and Xenophobia in Europe

A Veiled Egyptian Woman is Killed in a German Court by Fanatic

A 32-year old Egyptian pharmacist was stabbed to death inside a German Court on July 1st, 2009, by a 28-year old German man of Russian origins. The killing raises questions and fears about the rising tide of ant-Muslim feelings in Europe.

Dr. Marwa Sherbini was a star pupil at her Alexandria School, El Nasr Girls’ College (EGC), one of the oldest and most prestigious educational establishments for girls in Alexandria. Her personality and academic achievements led to her selection as Head Girl of the school before she joined the Faculty of Pharmacy at Alexandria University, graduating in 2000 with flying colors. After she got married to Elwy Okaz, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute, she moved with him to Germany.

Marwa Takes her Son to Play in the Park

In a Dresden park, Marwa took her 3-year old son Mostapha to play. A German man, probably piqued by her headscarf, insulted her and called her a terrorist. She filed a case against him in German courts. When she won the case and the court fined him 750 Euros for having abused her, he appealed against the verdict.

Marwa Stands in Dresden Court to Give Evidence

As Marwa stood in court to give evidence, the man took out a knife and stabbed her 18 times. Present were her son and her husband, who ran to rescue her. But the assailant stabbed him 3 times. A German security officer in court shot the husband in the leg probably mistaking him for the assailant. The husband who lapsed into a coma was taken to hospital suffering from serious injuries to the stomach and liver.

Recalling Geert Wilders’s Anti-Islam Film

The killing of the Muslim woman raises many questions regarding inter-racial relationships and co-existence in Europe. It brings to mind the right-wing short film Fitna (2008) made by the Dutch politician Geert Wilders in which he launched a scathing attack against Islam, portraying it as a religion of violence that poses a serious threat to European life and values . The film displays a verse from the Quran beside images of the twin tower attack of 9/11. He ends his film with statistics indicating that Muslims’ rate of “breeding” will change the demographic structure of Europe in future. This is designed to instil fear in the hearts of Europeans regarding the growth of Muslim population in Europe. The message of hate seems to have cone to roost in this latest act of xenophobic aggression and it looks likely that violence against Muslims will continue.